Feb 7, 2012

The Chain-Saw Moussaka (Das Kettensägen-Moussaka)

Why Greece serves as an experiment into how far economic oppression from international money consortia and bankers will go.....

From Profil.at, Austrian online magazine, translated from the German (bold is mine).

"In the case of Greece every tax increase is a great idea, and any benefit is considered kürzenswert. [...]

When unemployment has reached a record high of 19.2 percent, when state hospitals lock operating rooms because they cannot get new staff, when the suicide rate rises sharply, when the Ministry of Education distributes food vouchers to student needs, because of the increasing numbers of children and adolescents suffering malnutrition, and when at the same time, the 90th national economic competitiveness in the international ranking of the seven places on the Rank has crashed: then everything is really okay so far! [...]

In the spirit of European solidarity, the starvation of the Greek population is quite reasonable, because the European taxpayer should be convinced to support a nation that has gone bankrupt, because they have lived beyond their means. Even the cold snap last week in Athens is welcomed as a case of a higher justice.

[...] The austerity rather combines the worst of all worlds - we call it sado-economics.

Oddly, nowhere outside of Greece is opposition stirring opposition, no matter what draconian measures are enacted. Conservative governments like the black and yellow in Berlin suddenly have no problem with solidarity levies, increases in income tax or a new property tax. Social Democrats and Chancellor of Austria Werner Faymann do not cry when the VAT rate increased verve and the budgets of Social Affairs and Health will be reformed with a chainsaw.
If it follows Greece, everything is permitted, especially as the European leaders need to present the austerity program themselves. It is not even clear whether they approve it in detail. A faceless triumvirate of delegates of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Commission and European Central Bank (ECB) uses a flying visit to Athens in order to explain what needs to be done. The Greeks therefore necessarily demonstrate with banners that say "Troika out"; but such a slogan is pretty abstract, and ultimately goes nowhere.

They are supported now, at least from the German economic expert Peter Bofinger. "With the cuts, the economy has stalled, which caused the deficits to rise, after which the troika demanded even harsher austerity measures," criticizes the economist.

Currently groaning are many EU member countries - including Austria - given the self-imposed"debt brake" laws. The saving and loading packages that are being discussed for this purpose would cause cheering in Greece, so harmless are they in comparison. Gustav Horn by the German Institute for Macroeconomic Research with respect to the ARD, commented on the highly controversial reform plans "Agenda 2010" of the former SPD-Green government of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder as a "Mickey Mouse program compared to what happened in Greece".

In Austria, a Greek austerity scale would mean the end of the republic, as we know it. [...]

The list of charges is long, and yet forever the same sentence at the end of each listing is as follows: "Greece has missed its savings targets'. [...]

Because now the Hellenic Republic unsurprisingly barely has any highly profitable companies in its portfolio, the fact  would be that privatization revenues remain at modest levels. [...] The former economics minister Stefanos Manos judged as soon as the publication of the plan was lacking for the ARD, "This is ridiculous. You want to sell the railroad company. But who in their right mind will buy it? It would be completely crazy to do that! "
A certain madness accompanies the whole process supposed to rescue Greece from the beginning. The three previous austerity bestowed the country with a recession that was worse every year - 2009, the economy shrank by 3.2 percent the following year there were already 3.5 percent and 5.5 percent last year. Corollary: The debt continues to rise.

The troika still has not reached the end of their wisdom. Now let's drop the minimum wage in the private sector, which is in Greece at 750 €. This is expected to be a more dynamic labor market. However, the business associations themselves speak out against such a measure, because they know that in private consumption it would continue to decline.

Poul Thomsen, head of the delegation of the IMF, demanded by Athens last week to accelerate structural reforms. He admitted that so far too much emphasis had been placed on new taxes. The next economy package should therefore lower the better wages. Both are of course long since done. Munter is rotated on all screws.

Greece is a field trial for schizophrenia become economists, expenditure and revenue side where all ideas can be tested simultaneously. [...] And if Greece collapses at the end, there's an alternative: Perhaps the same experiment will work out in Portugal." [see this]

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